Sports World

Jimmy Greaves: Tottenham Hotspur’s highest ever goal scorer dies aged 81

English professional footballer Jimmy Greaves died aged 81 on Sunday. The former striker suffered a stroke in 2015 which left him wheelchair-bound and with severely impaired speech.

Greaves, Tottenham’s all-time leading scorer also starred for Chelsea during his iconic career.

“We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves, not just Tottenham Hotspur’s record goalscorer but the finest marksman this country has ever seen,” the club said.

A member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad, Greaves scored 44 goals in his 57 appearances for England.

His strike-rate was phenomenal as he scored 357 goals in England’s top flight, a record which still stands.

For Tottenham, the charismatic Londoner, renowned for his cheeky wit, scored 266 goals in 379 appearances between 1961 and 1970.

The 37 league goals he bagged in the 1962/63 season has yet to be bettered by a Tottenham player in a single season.

Tottenham striker Kane is second behind Greaves on the club’s all-time list of goalscorers with 223.

He also played in Tottenham’s 1967 FA Cup final win against his old club Chelsea.

Greaves played in all four of England’s games at the 1962 World Cup but famously did not feature in the 1966 World Cup final victory over West Germany.

A shin injury had seen him replaced in the side by Geoff Hurst at the quarter-final stage.

Although he was fit for the final, Alf Ramsey’s decision not to change a winning side was vindicated by Hurst’s hat-trick at Wembley.

After leaving Spurs in 1970, he played for West Ham before retiring from the game at the end of the 1970/71 season at the age of 31.

Greaves scored a total of 366 goals in Europe’s top-five leagues.

That stood as the all-time record until it was eclipsed by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016-17.

In retirement, Greaves endured a debilitating fight with alcoholism.

But he still starred as a football pundit alongside former Liverpool striker Ian St John in the popular ITV programme ‘Saint and Greavsie’ between 1985 and 1992.

After a long campaign for his England achievements of 1966 to be recognised, Greaves finally received a World Cup winners’ medal in 2009.